UP Education launched Shifting the Dial and the supporting NZIER economic modelling to advance the conversation on how the education sector can better innovate and invest to address the needs of underserved learners in New Zealand.
UP Education held an education forum at the Ministry of Education in Wellington to discuss its recently released report ‘Shifting the Dial’ – focused on improving education outcomes for underserved learners.
“The forum provided an opportunity for the Government and education sector to gain a better understanding of the findings of the report in order to support high-level decision making and a high-performing education system,” says Mark Rushworth, Group CEO, UP Education.
Stakeholders from across the Government and education sector were in attendance – including senior leadership and policymakers from the Ministry of Education, Tertiary Education Commission, and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.
Minister of Education, Hon Chris Hipkins, provided opening remarks at the event and acknowledged the significance of the report. He expressed gratitude to UP Education for investing in and formulating the report – agreeing that: “the education system has not served all of our learners equally – including Māori and Pacific learners and people with disabilities – and we have got to do better there.”
“Education is the key to unlocking the success, opportunity, and fulfilment the communities throughout Aotearoa deserve.”
“I really commend the work of UP Education to make learning more accessible and engaging for our underserved learners.”
“Let’s continue to work collectively to make positive change to put learners at the heart of our education focus.”
As part of the Shifting the Dial education forum, Michael Bealing, Principal Economist at NZIER, quantified the muti-billion-dollar economic cost of leaving Aotearoa’s underserved learners as revealed by the recent NZIER report titled Underserved learners: The economic and wellbeing benefits of improving education outcomes.
Mark Rushworth outlined the raft of social, economic and cultural benefits improved educational outcomes outlined in the findings of Shifting the Dial: The Economic and Societal Impact of Removing Barriers for Underserved Learners in Aotearoa (2022).
A panel discussion followed, providing diverse perspectives on the barriers underserved learners face in the education system, and the ways in which Aotearoa can ‘shift the dial’ to better serve Māori, Pacific and disabled learners.
The panellists included: Katrina Sutich, Group Manager at Ministry of Education, Vau Atonio at NZMA Trades Campus Manager, Alexia Williams, NZST graduate and Lavinia Lovo, Advocate for Pacific Youth with a Disability.
Mark Rushworth said he hoped the insights and recommendations go some way to contributing to the conversation about the practical steps that can be taken to ensure our education system can better meet the needs of our learners.
“We believe the education sector has the ability to reduce the number of our underserved learners in New Zealand to 0 by 2030.”
“By continuing to work together, and in closer collaboration with our learners, communities and industry – there is a clear road to success ahead of us.”